Should you tell your husband EVERYTHING?

Should you tell your husband EVERYTHING

The smile was sympathetic, the restrained pat on the arm comforting. Then my friend’s husband murmured softly: ‘Nasty business, but I hope you’re feeling OK.’

For a moment I was perplexed. And then the penny dropped. His wife — my so-called confidante — must have blabbed a secret I’d entrusted her with. It concerned a distressing email I’d received from an acquaintance.

When I gave a bit of a weepy account to my friend, I’d finished by stressing my story was to go no further. She nodded — and then went on to spill the beans to her spouse.

Spilling the beans: Is it fair to betray our friends' secrets to our partners

Spilling the beans: Is it fair to betray our friends' secrets to our partners

I was fuming. But when confronted, my friend barely flinched. ‘Yes, you said: “Don’t tell anyone,” ’ she demurred. ‘But my husband isn’t just anyone.’

Since when did husbands get an opt-out clause in terms of their wives breaking a confidence

Psychologist Sue Firth says: ‘It’s not malicious. Some women simply see it as a form of infidelity if they don’t tell their husbands everything.’

The other week, a contact told me a married man she knew was playing around. But I respected my friend’s confidence and kept schtum.

Men, however, seem to be genetically geared to speak without thinking. I remember one friend divulging to another that she was having a baby, asking her confidante to keep the news to herself.

At a dinner party a few days later, the mum-to-be was about to accept some ice cream when her confidante’s husband boomed: ‘Should you It’s got raw eggs in it.’ She was mortified.

So I have concluded that the only foolproof way to make sure a secret stays a secret is to keep it to yourself. As the old saying goes: ‘Loose lips sink ships.’